Arsenal: Chris Wreh hoping to inspire Banbury United to run the FA Cup and follow in his father’s footsteps
Chris Wreh hoping to inspire Banbury United to run the FA Cup and follow in the footsteps of former Gunner father in competition after finally getting serious about his football career.
- Chris Wreh faces the biggest game of his career in the FA Cup this weekend
- It’s in an inspired form for the out-of-league Banbury who host League Two’s Barrow.
- Wreh’s father won the Premier League and FA Cup with Arsenal in 1998
- “I didn’t take it seriously when I was younger,” the 25-year-old admitted.
Anyone who remembers that Arsene Wenger won his first trophies at Arsenal will recognize the name of the forward leading Banbury United’s FA Cup quest.
Chris Wreh is in inspired form, scoring eight goals and nine assists for the Southern League Premier League Central Division side who are undefeated in 19 games this season and host League Two Barrow on Saturday.
Wreh’s father, Christopher, won the Premier League and FA Cup double with Arsenal in 1998, scoring the only goal in a semi-final against Wolves at Villa Park, a fabulous and crisp ending to a Patrick Vieira pass.
Chris Wreh is inspired by Banbury’s out-of-league form before their FA Cup tie with Barrow
Wreh’s father, also named Chris, was a crucial part of Arsenal’s winning double side in 1997/98.
The Liberian international signed from Monaco then started in the final against Newcastle and scored at Wembley in the FA Community Shield three months later, celebrating his goals with cartwheels and backflips.
“I was almost two years old at the time,” says Chris from Banbury. “I don’t remember much but I have seen photos of myself with the players. My mom has one of David Seaman supporting me in the bus parade and one of me with Community Shield.
“ I watched some of the games later in dad’s career, I’ve seen the goals and people tell me about him, the family members, the uncles and every now and then I meet Arsenal fans who do the connection and they know about him.
“It was a big problem for him to come from such a small place and play football for a club like Arsenal. It came at a time when there were a lot of big names, but he tells me that he doesn’t care about big names because he came to create some history. ‘
Wreh senior is now deputy director of the Liberian national team and is preparing for the World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and the Central African Republic.
Wreh pictured with his father and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Wreh admitted that he wasn’t committed enough to his football career as a child.
He won’t be at the Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium to see if the Puritans produce a surprise, extend their unbeaten streak and reach the FA Cup second round for the first time in his 90-year history, but he is in close contact with Chris and will continue. updates on the club’s Facebook site as you usually do if you can’t hear the live broadcast on ITV4.
“Chris has surprised me,” the 46-year-old told Sportsmail. Growing up, I really didn’t want to play the game, but now I’m happy to see him play and do so well.
“You score a goal in the UK and you never forget. When I travel to Africa, people talk to me about playing for Arsenal and scoring at Wembley. It was a great team with great players and they have become historic moments.
“Now I pray that Chris will be successful and enjoy his football.” How about a draw against Arsenal in the third round? “That’s what I’m praying for,” he added.
Chris studied at Northampton Town and Arsenal academies without landing a professional contract.
Wreh’s father was famous for his acrobatic celebrations every time he scored for Arsenal.
Senior Wreh holding the 1998 Charity Shield with Nicolas Anelka after beating Man United 3-0
“I didn’t take it seriously when I was younger,” says the 25-year-old. “ I basically played with my friends, but I want to give him another chance to play professionally and here I am, now. I do a little coaching, but this is my main job. I am focused on my football and I want to give a big push this year ”.
Two blocked seasons have proven to be a test for semi-pro clubs, but Banbury has made solid progress.
“It feels like a club moving in the right direction and looking to take the next step.” ‘The whole structure, from the coach to the coach to the fans, there is a strong bond.
We are hungry and we are not afraid. The FA Cup is something very important to everyone at the club and the players can show their skill. We will do our best and hopefully continue our career. ‘